The sequel to 2015’s Goosebumps had previously been titled Goosebumps: HorrorLand, but now has apparently been changed to Goosebumps: Slappy’s Revenge.
The films are loosely based on the series of children’s horror books, which were a huge franchise during the 1990s. They were so popular that they even received a revival in recent years: first in a series on nineteen books that were also called Goosebumps: HorrorLand, and more recently in Goosebumps Most Wanted.
Though the revival series had ongoing plot lines, the original books, which came out monthly, most told a different story each time, with only occasional sequels. As such, Slappy was the closest thing the series had to a central antagonist. A living ventriloquist doll who continually tried to enslave the unlucky children who found him, he was the villain of the books Night of the Living Dummy II, Night of the Living Dummy III, Bride of the Living Dummy (yeah, they kind of copied Chucky with that one) and Slappy’s Nightmare. In the revival series, he causes havoc in Revenge of the Living Dummy and Son of Slappy (surprisingly, this one was not a copy of Seed of Chucky). He was also the villain of the live-action stage adaptation.
The first movie dealt with Jack Black playing a fictionalized version of the books’ author, R.L. Stine, having to deal with the monsters from his stories escaping from their volumes and running havoc through a small town. Naturally, Slappy was the main antagonist, purposely releasing the other creatures for his own cruel amusement.
The previous title alluded to One Day at HorrorLand, the sixteenth original Goosebumps book. The concept of this one—an amusement park run by monsters—proved oddly popular, with video games and, as mentioned above, a spin-off series based on it. Seeing an adaptation of one of these would have been interesting, whether or not Slappy was involved; the new title suggests that this idea will be either downplayed or completely removed, however.
It will be disappointing if the new film turned out to be a rehash of the first. However, Slappy is not the series’ most enduring villain for nothing, so hopefully he will have some new tricks up his sleeve in this sequel.